Appointments to Court of Appeal and Superior Court of Justice

Rob Nicholson, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, has announced an appointment to the Court of Appeal for Ontario and four appointments to the Superior Court of Justice.

Madame Justice Alexandra Hoy has been appointed to the Court of Appeal.  Called to the bar in 1980, Madame Justice Hoy was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in 2002.  According to this article from the National Post, Justice Hoy has become known to the business bar for her work presiding over the commercial list in Toronto (a special court designed to hear complex business matters).  Justice Hoy has sat on the Divisional Court also has experience presiding over class action matters as well as criminal and family matters.  Justice Hoy is replacing Madame Justice Jean McFarland who has elected to become a supernumary Judge.

In addition to the vacancy now filled by Justice Hoy, there are two additional vacancies on the court which are expected to be filled in the coming months.  These vacancies are as a result of the appointments of Justice Michael Moldaver and Andromache Karakatsanis to the Supreme Court of Canada.  Assuming the vacancies are filled by Superior Court Judges there will then be two more vacancies (in addition to the one created by Justice Hoy’s appointment) to be filled on that court.

Appointed to the Superior Court of Justice are:

  • Clayton John Conlan, a lawyer with Kirby, Robinson, Treslan & Conlan in Owen Sound.  Justice Conlan will preside in Owen Sound.
  • Meredith Donohue, a lawyer with Daniel & Partners in St. Catharines.  Justice Donohue will preside in Brampton.
  • Michael McKelvey, a lawyer with Borden Ladner Gervais in Toronto.  Justice McKelvey will preside in Newmarket.
  • Timothy Minnema, a lawyer with the Frontenac Children’s Aid Society in Kingston.  Justice Minnema has been appointed to the Family Branch and will preside in Ottawa.

Of particular note to the criminal defence bar is the appointment of Clayton Conlan.  Justice Conlan, who is unusually young for a judicial appointment, has practiced criminal defence in Owen Sound since his call to the bar in 2000. Conlan participated in two panels at the Solo and Small Firm Conference and Expo, put on jointly by the Law Society of Upper Canada and Canadian Bar Association, this past Spring, which I attended.

The news release from the Department of Justice, which includes biographical information on all five appointments, can be found here.

This blog post was written by lawyer Adam Goodman.  Adam is a criminal lawyer in Toronto who blogs regularly about legal subjects.  Adam can be reached at 416-477-6793 or by email at

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